Once again the latest piece of Downloadable Content for Fallout 3 takes the player in an entirely new direction. Into the swamplands of Point Lookout, Bethesda has handcrafted an twisting adventure would make H.P. Lovecraft proud. It's time for a vacation, Fallout style.
Bethesda releases its fourth Fallout 3 add-on to a wave of hungry Fallout fans. After spawning three other packages of DLC (Downloadable Content), Fallout 3 fans should know, more or less, what to expect from their latest package labeled Point Lookout. After feeling a little cheapened by the Broken Steel storyline, its good to get back to what Fallout 3 does expectionally well, and that is telling stories. Surprisingly Point Lookout is a little more engaging then I expected, providing a wonderful new area to explore within the Fallout Universe.
Point Lookout is set in a swamplans of Maryland, USA. Complete with old 18centrury styled housing and plenty of swampy ground, Point Lookout does its best to drawn you into its Southern “hillbilly” charm. The area covered in Point Lookout is rather generous which encourages a lot of exploration between questing and is the largest out of all the other DLC. For a direct size comparison Point Lookout equals about 1/5 the Capital Wasteland. Besides the swamp filled landscapes you can expect to be lured into its rocky cliff-sides and underground man-made caverns as you uncover the mysteries that Point Lookout holds. Point Lookout doesn't have too much diversity in its look and feel when traveling through the swamps, however compared to the look of the original, it's a 100% different.
Similar to other downloadable content like Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt, Lookout can be activated at anytime... although I wouldn't be too hasty to jumping on board the Duchess Gambit ferry that starts up this downloadable adventure. I would patiently wait until you get up in around level 20 before heading out, and even then expect a considerable challenge. I would also advise stacking up with a whole lot of rad-x and stimpacks before heading into this hostile territory filled with radioactive swamps and explosive bubbles. Point Lookout isn't too radical from how you'll traverse it, but you will have to be a little more on your toes as the enemies have more places to hide with a whole batch of new tricks up their sleeves.
Go Get Em' Swampies!
If you want a fight, well, Point Lookout and its freakishly deformed inbreeds can offer one hell of one. The creatures you will face on the island have a heavy resistance and fast reflexes. From inbreed Swampfolk to wild dogs; any Fallout 3 vets will welcome the new diversity. The Swampfolk are the most interesting add-on to Fallout 3 with their coveralls and deformities. The swampfolk are a version of the stereotypical version of a backward inbreed hick, then add a percentage of radioactive particles and there you gosh darn well have it, Fallout’s Swampfolk. The swampies, as I call them, are very hostile and attack when they spot you. They usually travel in packs, so if you see one, expect others.
The Trackers and Bruisers are the big monsters in the game that could be compared to the Super Mutants and Deathclaws found on the mainland. They might not have the firepower of the Super Mutant brutes, but they have the muscle, speed and resistance on their side. Fighting off a Tracker will have you backing up in fear as you hope to down them with your newly acquired collection of shotguns. The Creepers are smaller, stealthier inbreeds that usually come armed with a shotgun and do a good job of strafing between the swamp vegetation. Brawlers and Scrappers are two other variations of the Creepers which adds a little more variety to the Swampfolk clan and breaks up their attack strategies. The names might not be too constructive, but the results are. Compared to the zombies, rabid ants and super-mutants, a more humanized approach fits Fallout 3 perfectly.
Aside from the mutated Devil’s Rejects, you will go up against your normal run-of-the-mill Bandits, a small portion of the Ghoul family including the armoured Feral Ghoul Reaver from the Broken Steel expansion and newly added cousins, the Swamp Ghouls. Expect more creatures from the swamp as Point Lookout pumps out a few more slight variations of the Capital Wasteland’s Mirelurks, and of course the Mirelurks themselves. The Feral Ghouls Reavers are the ones to watch here because they are relentless in their attacks which goes hand-and-hand with their high resistance to firepower. Don't be too bashful if you have to run from these ghouly creatures because they will cause you to hit that "B" a number of times as you heal yourself through some epic battles.
The new weapons introduced in Point Lookout go back to a more basic time with a number of melee additions like the blunt force of an Axe, or a Shovel. The also feature a number of rifles and shotguns that are fun to use. From the Double-Barrel Shotgun to the Lever-Action Rifle, you will likely find yourself ditching your machine gun to fit in with the locals. Like always, Point Lookout has a few modified special weapons that can be found after completing quests. The two main ones to look for on the island are the Backwater Rifle and The Dismemberer. Now that's a name! Unfortunately the goodies aren't as "good" as the other DLC which is fine for those who have already explored the Anchorage simulation, or snuggled up to warmth of a Tesla Cannon.
The armour contribution to Point Lookout fits in with the backwards inhabitants of the world. Most interesting would be the Pint-Sized Slasher Gear which consists of a knife and a gruesome Slasher Mask that resembles a clown. The rest of the gear consist of simple outfits like Jumpsuits, Coveralls, Tribal Garb and hats like a Policeman’s Hat and a Confederate Civil War Hat and more.
What Lookout lacks in the armour it makes up for with the weapons and the new Wild Punga Fruit. Punga Fruit is a wild planet that grows all over Point Lookout. The fruit can be consumed to heal your characters health and lower your radation level. Punga is so rampid in Lookout that you will notice its uses with some of the different folk in the area. From those who grow it, or those who use it in their moonshine, Punga is one of the neatest features added to the new content, and will be a perminate item found through merchants back in the Wasteland once the content is installed. For other extra's in Lookout, you can expect to pick up a few new perks and achievements along the way.
A Ghoulish Good Time
The main mission in Point Lookout will have you finding out about the local flavour once you step off the Duchess. Without providing a spoiler expect to meet a hard headed ghoul who might remind you of a certain film character named Tony Montana. You’ll also come across a spiritual journey of the mind as you unravel the mysterious circumstances that have you wrapped up in a personal war between two long time rivals. The main quest is the most interesting storyline in the add-on content, although the side-missions hold their own weight. From making your own batch of moonshine, finding a book of the occult, to playing the role of a secret agent, Lookout’s variety is probably the best that we’ve seen from Bethesda’s downloadable content.
Point Lookout also gives you the freedom to bounce back and forth between the mainland and the new content if you wish. This way you don’t have to complete the entire thing in one shot... and even one alternative finish to a side-quest requires you to finish up on the Capital Wasteland. Bridging the two pieces of content together is an excellent idea and a notable bonus to downloading this swampland expansion.
The swampland of Point Lookout calls to all Fallout 3 fanatics that can’t get enough of Fallout's post-apocalyptic scenery. Point Lookout could be contested as the best out of the batch of DLC besides the enhancements given out in Broken Steel. If you’re looking for a vacation from super-mutants and the depression of the Capital Wasteland, the swampy hillbilly flavour of Point Lookout might just be the getaway you need. For 800 MS Points, Point Lookout offers enough exploration and content to warrant the price... unless you holding out for the complete GOTY edition. Now grab your axe and show those swamp-hillbillies how you get things done in the big city!
Final Score: 8.5
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 07.23.09
- Main storyline and side-missions feel fresh
- New Perks, New Weapons, New Achievements
- Swampfolk are the perfect addition to the Fallout universe
- Excellent balance between exploration and missions
- Punga vegitation adds a little life to the world
- No "Big Loot" item to be found
- Locations could have been more explorative
- The content can be completed within 2-5hr